Erotic Literature Before Fifty Shades Of Grey

All those of you who thought that Fifty Shades Of Grey is the beginning and end of erotic literature are about to get a rude shock. Erotic literature can be traced back to the poetry of the Greeks and several other classical greats. Although the phenomenon called Fifty Shades has brought erotic books into the limelight, erotic literature is as old as literature itself.

After the em-passionate poetry of Sappho you also have many other writers who experimented with writing erotic books. Not only did they talk about normal intimacy but explored the various dark depths of sensuality. For example, the word 'sadism' comes from the name of French writer called Marquis de Sade. He talked about the principles of pain and pleasure for the first time in his erotic book, 'Justine'.

Another path-breaking work based on BDMS (Bondage Discipline Sadoism Masochism) was 'The Story Of O'. There are also what we call the erotic classics. For example, 'Madame Bovary' and 'Lolita' may not be openly pornographic, but they do talk about very dark sensual fantasies subtly. So basically, if you are looking for goof erotic literature, there is a lot you need to read up before coming to the most recent phenomenon.

If you loved Fifty Shades Of Grey, here is the best of Erotic literature that you need to read up as well.



The Greek civilisation was shaken up by the poetic works of a female poet, Sappho. It is one of the great 9 lyric poets of ancient Greece and her works mainly talk about passion between the two sexes or even among same sex couples.


Marquis de Sade

This is the original French novel that gave rise to the word 'sadism'. Writer 'Sade' gives us an account of a young girl, Justine's live as a sex slave.


Fanny Hill/Memoirs Of A Woman Of Pleasure

This book was given the title of first pornographic novel in English prose. In this book, 'Fanny' writes a series of letters to a friend where she tells the obscenely erotic experiences of her life.


Madame Bovary

Flaubert gives us the sketch of a woman who is lonely and sexually starved in the form of Madame Bovary. Her marital digressions and affairs make a very erotic reading.



Young nymphs attract the middle-aged man, Humbert. And he is totally stuck on Lola whom he imagines to be his childhood love 'Lolita'. But Lola is his step-daughter. A story of obsession and nymphomania with a touch of incest.


Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's husband was crippled before she could taste the pleasures of a marital life. So she has a working class man, her gardener to do her bidding in bed.


Story Of 'O'

A girl whom we know only as 'O' submits to extreme pain and humiliation at her partner's hands. And yet she enjoys every bit of it. This novel broke the conventions of pleasure and pain that we hold on to so strongly.


Flowers In The Attic

This novel is not only erotic but also has terribly macabre. 4 children are locked up in an attic for 3 years. The are tortured and starved by their grandmother. So to keep themselves cheerful, they start getting intimate!


Venus In Furs

This book explores the same dark crevices of BDMS which is displayed in Fifty Shades. The story is basically about a dominant masochist who sinks into depths of depravity to torture and love his mistress.


The Claiming Of Sleeping Beauty

The ancient fairytale of 'Sleeping Beauty' is retold in an erotic fashion by Anne Rice. This novel, Sleeping Beauty actually awakes to sexual initiation with principles of punishment and reward for her learning.

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    Read more about: literature books
    Story first published: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 21:01 [IST]
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